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23375My Visit To Mother India part 2 | Inspiration Sun

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  • inspiration_sun_1
    Nov 30, 2008
      By: Sahadeva

      Purushottama is a remarkable person. He is innately spiritual. It is a
      natural existence for him to be contemplating the spiritual, the
      divine and figuring out how to manifest light through his music. It
      seems that it consumes most of his waking hours. It is as if he is on
      a train that never stops. He just keeps moving forward with new ideas,
      new goals, new dreams. Our Guru has fuelled the fire, loaded the
      engine with coal and set the train apace with new speed and urgency.
      Here is a powerful instrument with his heart-door wide open to Guru's
      love and compassion. Wow! I was so inspired, Purushottama was so
      inspired and India was the perfect place to set in motion the designs
      for this concert.

      Before we went back to Bangalore I had a chance to meet so many people
      in the surrounding villages. One village had no water. You could see
      the women with buckets in their hands or on their heads walking to and
      fro to a village 6km away to get water. Everyone worked from the early
      hours until late at night - for survival. The women looked so
      beautiful in their saris. It was amazing. The place could be so dirty
      but the saris somehow remained so colourful and clean. As I arrived at
      a village I would be taken around and introduced to everyone. All
      would come out and shake my hand or wave or have their photo taken.
      This was a big thing. Some had never had their photo taken. It was a
      big deal. My driver told me that they could not take photos of each
      other. It would cause a huge argument and fight if someone took a
      photo of someone else but for a tourist it was ok, more than ok. The
      huts and houses were painted all kinds of bright colours. Bright
      greens, strong blues and oranges, purple and yellows. It was so
      beautiful. At times the nature reminded me of Tuscany, in a strange
      kind of way. I was in true heaven. Italy and India. The perfect

      One day we decided to visit a temple far away, about six hours on
      bumpy roads. The temple had some special history that I have now
      forgotten, the curse of age. We drove through endless wilderness and
      stumbled on villages from time to time. As the hours flew past our
      driver would slow down to walking speed, wind down the window and
      yell, in an unnecessarily loud voice, to anybody who would listen,
      asking for directions. As the villagers stared in amazement at us,
      arms pointed in all different directions. Here we go, I thought. We'll
      be back here in two hours asking for directions again. After a few
      prayers with crossed fingers, legs and anything else that can be
      crossed we somehow made it. The village was centred around this
      temple. All the beggars were there. It seemed the word had got out
      that we were coming. It was rather intense. Bhuvaneshwari looked a
      little worried as the local girls started surrounding her. They can be
      very pushy and demanding. Then some man would arrive with a large
      stick and threaten them, shout at them. They would all disperse,
      scatter but soon reassemble and follow at a close distance. We reached
      the temple and were given the royal treatment. We went straight to
      front of the line. You buy a coconut and flowers on a banana leaf and
      these are your offerings to the Gods. The priest smashes the coconut
      and sprays the water over the shrines. The shell is left at the bottom
      of the shrine as food for the gods and the flowers are put on the
      statues. The whole ritual scene is all around as lines of people queue
      to make their offering. Then another priest arrives and tells us to go
      up some steps to another shrine. This is a special ceremony for the
      rich. A few Indian visitors joined us. There was another shrine, and
      another priest started chanting slokas. The next moment he beckoned
      our group and handed to each of us an ornate rod of bronze. The rod
      was about two and half feet long with carved reliefs and sanskrit
      writing. We descended the steps to join the crowds below and were
      joined by three musicians. We were told to follow them as they played
      on ancient looking instruments and we circled the inside of the temple
      3 times. As we passed the crowds of onlookers, they would stretch out
      their hands to caress the bronze rods while chanting prayers, all in
      wonderstruck awe and amazement. They would look at us as if we were
      some divine beings. We had only been in the village for about 15
      minutes. I told myself I had to keep it together. Ever since childhood
      I've had this problem of laughing at the most inappropriate times. I
      bit my lip and focused hard. But in front of me I heard Bhuvaneshwari
      starting to laugh. It was just that the whole thing seemed so surreal.
      I put my head down as I lost control and then when the moment passed I
      would look up again with a serious gaze. Then it was suddenly over. We
      gave back the rods, headed for the car and we were on are way back
      home. One of the more bizarre experiences of my life.

      Sadly we had to say goodbye after a few days. We all headed back to
      the big city and in huge contrast we stayed at a big hotel, not unlike
      the Christmas trip. We met up with the band. A great bunch of guys. I
      had got to know them all quite well in London at last year's concert.
      It was great to see them again and I think they were happy to see me
      too. Purushottama performed that night as part of an Indo-Russian arts
      exchange programme. The 200-person audience had all been invited and
      loved the concert. At one point a middle-aged man got up and started
      dancing in the aisles. Inhibitions here are lower than what I'm used
      to. He was on display and did not let the audience down with his
      Bhangra-style dance. More of the audience followed, leapt out of their
      seats, and displayed an unusual amount of courage, considering dance
      was clearly not their forte. But joy and innocence abounded and I
      loved the whole evening. Some travelling Russians had slipped by the
      guards and it was a reminder of what Purushottama means to his Russia.
      They adore him, look up at him with amazement in their eyes. After the
      concert they hung around backstage, desperately hoping to get a
      glimpse of their hero, or even an autograph.

      For a few hours we could enjoy the luxuries of the 5-star hotel, but
      we had to be in the lobby at about 3:30am the next morning to leave
      for the airport. Hmmmm. Remind you of anything? There was a ton of
      luggage, all the instruments etc, and vans arrived, which needed to be
      loaded with the gear. It was deja vu. I laughed to myself. As we
      arrived at the airport, all of us bleary-eyed travellers searched out
      the coffee dealers desperate for a caffeine injection. I've been here
      so many times, I thought to myself.

      We flew to Delhi. We had another successful concert there. I preferred
      Bangalore. Delhi was a bit too crowded and dirty. Then we had to say
      our farewells. Mine was not only to Purushottama and Bhuvaneshwari but
      also to India. I see now why people go and stay and stay and stay. I
      am so grateful to Purushottama and Bhuvaneshwari. They so generously
      looked after me the whole time. Such big hearts reside in both of
      them. But I know who really made this trip possible. It was my beloved
      Guru. I could feel him with me every step of the way. This trip was
      the foundation for the concert we just had. Here Purushottama made his
      plans. Thank you Guru. It is all your Grace.

      From Inspiration Sun edition 6

      Part 1 http://srichinmoyinspiration.com/forums/23163